蜂巢状的山脉 Bungle beehives
Bungle Bungle Range in Purnululu National Park, Australia
Aboriginal Australians have lived in this area for more than 20,000 years. But only recently did the rest of the world learn of the otherworldly terrain of the mountains known as the Bungle Bungle Range. In 1982, a nature-documentary crew was filming remote areas within the Kimberley region of Western Australia and 'discovered' the little-known mountain range. Today it is the most popular aspect of Purnululu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Bungle Bungle Range is composed of sandstone domes that can be up to 800 feet tall. Formed by wind and rain over millions of years, the domes get their striking look due to alternating rusty orange bands colored by iron-oxide and grey bands colored by colonies of single-celled microbes called cyanobacteria. Beneath the beehive formations are large pools and caverns, some of which have ancient Aboriginal cave paintings on the walls.
准备迎接血月 Get ready for the blood moon
If you're lucky enough to find yourself under a cloudless sky tonight, you'll be able to see one of our solar system's great wonders, a full lunar eclipse, also known as a 'blood moon.' The spooky nickname derives from the reddish hue the moon takes on when Earth casts its shadow upon it. Featured here is a blood moon over the Swiss Alps. A full lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth and moon align perfectly with the sun, and the moon falls directly behind Earth's shadow. When Earth falls behind the Moon's shadow, a solar eclipse occurs.
While total eclipses of the sun get more attention and make a more dramatic entrance, total lunar eclipses are majestic in their own right and are much more user-friendly. For one, you can look directly at a total lunar eclipse without any worry of harming your eyes. And they're viewable by far more people than solar eclipses. That's because a total lunar eclipse can last for hours, while solar eclipses last just a few minutes. In addition, lunar eclipses are viewable anywhere on the nighttime side of the world while total solar eclipses occur only within a narrow longitude on the planet.
Tonight's lunar eclipse coincides with the Flower Moon, the full moon of every May. It can be seen from Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia, but is best viewed from North and South America. While not exactly rare, total lunar eclipses don't occur too often, and even when they do, they can be hidden by cloud cover. If you miss tonight's blood moon, you'll get a second chance this year in November. Your next chance after that will be in three years, so you might want to plan to stay up late tonight.
How green is my valley
Cabo Verde ('Green Cape') celebrates its independence today. Located about 350 miles off the western coast of Africa, the country consists of 10 volcanic islands. We're looking at the Serra da Malagueta mountain range in the northern part of the island of Santiago, which is protected as a national park. At nearly 3,500 feet, it's the highest point of northern Santiago and offers views of nearby Fogo and Maio islands, as well as diverse plants and wildlife.
The islands that make up Cabo Verde were uninhabited by people until they were colonized by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. They remained in Portuguese control until gaining independence on July 5, 1975. Since the 1990s, Cabo Verde has been regarded as one of the most stable democracies in Africa and has steadily developed an economy based largely on tourism.
High alpine color in Colorado
Songstress Dolly Parton once sang 'wildflowers don't care where they grow,' but we gotta believe the wildflowers growing in Colorado's American Basin, shown here, are pretty delighted with their surroundings. American Basin is in the San Juan Mountains in the southern part of the state, about a 5-hour drive from Denver. Visitors here will find rocky cliffs, streams, unique rock formations, and some spectacular wildflowers. July and August are the best time to see the blooms—it's the time of year when you'll reliably spot the Rocky Mountain columbine (Colorado's state flower), elephant's head, Parry's primrose, and marsh marigold. Bring us back a bouquet, all right?